Montessori Wood Polishing Ideas + Recipe
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Wood polishing is an incredibly soothing activity. It can help to restore calmness and concentration within a child while nourishing wooden toys and materials. There are often many wooden materials around our home (and classroom) that could do with a bit of love and attention. It's also a really productive and meaningful activity. The polish almost always makes an immediate difference and keeps the wood in a good condition. Some of the material we have used our natural (and food safe) Beeswax polish on include;
- baby toys
- wooden toys, animals, barn
- wooden blocks
- chopping boards
- kitchen utensils - wooden spoons, scoops, salad serves
- wooden bowls, napkin rings
- geometric solids
- wooden ornaments, seasonal decorations
Or you might want to go big and try polishing something larger, a tray or some furniture. Beeswax polish is readily available in the US (try Essential Montessori or Three Beeautiful Bees) but harder to find here in Australia. Beeswax (raw in block form) is easy to find at farmers markets, and really affordable too. If you can't find it at the market ask your local beekeeper/honey supplier often they put it aside or have it by request. There are other oils compatible for this recipe but for cost and availability, I continue to use a good olive oil. Here is how I make it.
Beeswax Wood Polish
1 Cup of Olive Oil
¼ Cup of grated Beeswax
Place the Olive Oil and grated Beeswax in a microwave-safe bowl or Pyrex Jug. The finer the Beeswax is grated the faster it will melt. Put the jug in the microwave on medium temperature and watch until the Beeswax melts completely into the oil. You could also use a double boiler. The oil/wax blend will be very hot once melted. Take the bowl out of the microwave and pour straight into small jars. Keep out of the reach of children and allow to cool. The oil and wax will cool into the solidified polish and is ready to use. You can see the process in pictures in an earlier post here.
How to use:
Use a clean cloth or small mitt or even cotton ball to generously apply the polish to the wooden item. Wait 1-2 minutes. Polish with a fresh, clean, soft cloth. Some of the fantastic examples above have a used a timer, so the child knows exactly how long to wait. More detail on how to present the activity to the child can be found here.
Store the Beeswax polish in a jar or container with an air-tight lid in a cool, dark spot. It's likely the polish will last longer than a year but check the date on the Olive Oil to be sure (stay within the use by dates).